What is SAML 2.0 and How Does it Work?

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Security in the cloud

Thru supports SAML 2.0, enabling single sign-on (SSO) authentication with a customer’s identity provider. Since SAML is such a widely adopted protocol for SSO, the inclusion of SAML 2.0 reduces the amount of methods that Thru’s customers use to access their various cloud applications.

So What Is SAML 2.0?

For those not familiar with this subject, SAML 2.0 (Security Assertion Markup Language) is an XML-based protocol used to pass information about employees between an identity provider (e.g., Active Directory Federation Services [ADFS]) and cloud service providers (e.g., Thru, Office365, Google Apps, Salesforce). SAML is used to exchange authentication and authorization data in the form of security tokens that contain assertions about the user.

Specifically, SAML can be used for SSO authentication between enterprises and the cloud service providers listed above. If SAML-based SSO is deployed, employees can easily access multiple cloud applications inside and outside the office and not have to maintain multiple credentials.

How Does SAML 2.0 Work With Thru?

Currently, Thru’s qualified identity providers are Active Directory Federation Services (ADFS) and Salesforce (SFDC). Customers that already use SAML 2.0 with another identity provider can easily sign onto Thru with a host of other cloud apps that they access using SAML 2.0.

If an organization using Thru has all its employees listed in a corporate Active Directory, an ADFS gateway is deployed and the SAML 2.0 based protocol can be configured to automatically sign corporate users into Thru and create user accounts if required. Since large organizations have thousands of employees that access various online cloud accounts, Thru’s SAML 2.0 support can eliminate additional overhead for users and administrators and simplify access.

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